Should I File a New 2019 W-4 Form?


What Happened to the 2018 W-4 Form?

As part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, the IRS provided new withholding guidance. While new withholding tables released in 2018 were designed to work with existing W-4 Forms, you may find that the changes resulted in you receiving a larger paycheck, potentially reducing the amount of your tax refund when you filed your taxes for tax year 2018, or even causing you to owe a balance due.

Given these changes, you may want to take control and submit an updated W-4 with your employer. That way you can adjust withholding to maximize your money with the goal of either a larger refund at tax-time or more dollars throughout the year for expenses.

The 2019 W-4 Form Considerations

new w4 form

So, why should you consider updating your W-4 Form? The primary reason to update your W-4 for 2019 is that the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act eliminated the deduction for personal exemptions for individuals, their spouses, and their dependents, and the withholding tables reflect those changes. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act also doubled the maximum child tax credit (from $1,000 to $2,000).

The 2019 W-4 Form calculates the amount of tax required to be withheld from wages based on the number of withholding allowances claimed on Form W-4. The worksheets attached to the 2019 W-4 translate some of the taxpayer’s situation into withholding allowances. For example, it will advise you on how many allowances to claim if you qualify for the child tax credit. Using the worksheets can help match your withholding to the amount of tax you owe.

The 2020 version of Form W-4 will not use the allowance system. If you need to submit a new form in 2020, it will look different.

Who Should File a New W-4?

There are several situations where filing the 2019 W-4 tax form with your employer is advisable for 2019:

  • Families with more than one earner.
  • People with two or more jobs at the same time or who only work for part of the year.
  • People with children who claim credits such as the Child Tax Credit.
  • People with older dependents, including children age 17 or older.
  • People who itemized deductions in previous years.
  • People with high incomes and more complex tax returns.

Of course, it is always good advice to check your withholding at least once a year or whenever your personal circumstances change.

Wondering If You Should Complete a New W-4 in 2019?

If you need to change your withholding, make sure that you’re completing the most recent version of Form W-4, which includes W-4 changes you won’t see on the previous versions of Form W-4, or the form your employer provides.

And if you’re considering filing a new W-4 or need help with filing a W-4 in 2020 (or future years), we can help.

Our knowledgeable tax pros at H&R Block can help you review your situation and help answer your withholding and Form W-4 questions for 2019, 2020, or any other matter pertaining to the new W-4 changes and the new W-4 tax form. Visit a local tax office for more information.

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